Range Assessment

Range assessment and range assessors - You must ensure the ranges you use are assessed and registered. All Archery GB clubs, counties, and regions need to ensure they have registered the ranges they wish to use. Each range registration needs to be renewed every three years. Any members who shoot at ranges not registered will not be covered by Archery GB insurance.

You must ensure the ranges you use are assessed and registered

All Archery GB clubs, counties and regions need to ensure they have registered the ranges they wish to use. Each range registration needs to be renewed every three years. Any members who shoot at ranges not registered will not be covered by Archery GB insurance.

Range Assessment & Range Assessors

The online registration system has been designed to establish the future facility needs of archery across the country. It provides us with information on location, shooting capacity, access arrangements and Rules of Shooting compliance, which will help Archery GB to be able to better support clubs with their facilities. 

It will also allow Archery GB to:

  • Assess the needs and demands for the sport
  • Access external funding for facility work
  • Help the public find the right club and shooting range for them
  • Improve our internal processes and procedures
  • Help clubs respond to planning applications with a potential impact on a range
  • Answer queries related to planning issues

Clubs, counties and regions may each have up to three people with online access to complete administration for their organisation. Any of these three people may register or renew their ranges in the Range Registration section.

All Archery GB organisations are responsible for registering all of the ranges they wish to use. Range registrations last three years. The Registered Date and the Valid To date show on each range registration.

All clubs need to ensure they have at least one range registered or this may affect their club status, and therefore the status of the memberships within that club. Clubs will receive a reminder email 90 days before a range registration is due to expire, and can renew their ranges from this point on. The secretary who is listed as the current primary contact will receive the reminder email. If the range is not renewed and expires, the primary contact secretary will receive a further email informing them of this. This will result in the club being suspended if that was the only range registered.

Tournament Organisers need to ensure that their organisation has registered the range they intend to use under the name of their organisation, in the configuration they are going to use it, even if another organisation already uses that location.

Renewing your archery range registration

To register a range, you must have admin access for that organisation on the Members’ portal and then complete the online range registration.

You can renew a range from two months before the valid to expiry date, which shows by each range entry. 

As part of your range registration, there is a short survey asking how your range measures up against the Minimum Standards. Please answer honestly–the answers to this survey do not change whether a club complies with the rules of shooting or not, but are part of Archery GB’s understanding of what facilities clubs are using, and how secure these are for the future of our sport. 

A range may comply with the rules, but not meet all of the Minimum Standards. Better facilities will lead to better archer satisfaction with their sporting experience, and top quality clubs. Therefore Minimum Standards are not compulsory: some clubs may exceed them, while others will struggle to feature them. We are striving for an ever improving situation over the years. 

The first question you will be asked is if your range complies with the Rules of Shooting.

If your range complies with the rules, when you have checked/amended your details and chosen complies the range will be renewed for another three years. The online registration system will automatically email the Range Registration certificate to the club Secretary, to be displayed at the range. 

If your club does not have the full areas as specified in the Rules of Shooting, you will likely have measures in place to mitigate the risks, and a Range Assessor will need to visit your range to assess these, and work with your club to grant you a dispensation for three years.

Outdoor range

Arrange for an assessor to visit your archery range

To arrange for an Assessor to visit, please contact Archery GB to send your club an invoice for the range assessment fee of £50 plus VAT. Once paid, Archery GB will put you in touch with a local Range Assessor, for you to arrange a convenient time for the Assessment. The fee is payable per range, unless you have two ranges at the same venue. 

If the Range Assessor approves the use of existing methods to make the range safe, they will notify Archery GB of the details of the dispensation. The range status will change to ‘complies with dispensation,’ and the dispensation is in place for three years. If work needs to be done to make the range safe, then wherever possible Range Assessors will advise the clubs/event organiser of the recommended changes needed to permit the issue of a dispensation. When clubs complete the recommended changes and the Assessor signs the range off to Archery GB, then the dispensation will be in place for three years.

Appeals Process

A club or event organiser can request a re-assessment if they are not happy with the original assessment outcome. To appeal, you must contact the Membership Team, who will arrange a different Assessor to attend the range in question. The costs of this re-assessment must be paid in advance. If after a re-assessment the original assessment is overturned, then Archery GB will reimburse the re-assessment fee on request. Should the original decision be upheld, then the decision is final.

If any changes have taken place relating to the side-safety areas or overshoot areas, please notify Archery GB immediately.

Indoor Ranges

Indoor range

It is very unlikely for an indoor range to not meet the Rules of Shooting. However, you are required to ensure your club regularly assesses and manages the risks, to ensure archers are safe, that people know where to wait, and there is space for equipment etc. 

The rules state: 

Rule 402 (e): A waiting line shall be placed five yards behind the shooting line. If space is limited, the distance may be reduced to 3 yards; in exceptional circumstances the waiting line may be omitted. 

402A Range Safety: The walls and roof of a conventional building provide the measure of safety required. Arrangements must be made to prevent access to the range when shooting is in progress through any point in front of the shooting line and within the overshoot or side safety areas defined in Rule 302. 

Therefore indoor ranges should be listed as “complies” unless you have a specific concern about the layout of your range. 

In this case, please contact range@archerygb.org for support.

Other archery disciplines

All field, clout and flight archery ranges must be registered and go through the same process of assessment as target archery, but you may find not all Minimum Standards questions are applicable.

Events for beginners

Ranges must be registered if you are planning to run beginners’ courses or taster sessions, but is not required when setting up a range for beginners at a have-a-go event.

If a club stops using a range, please let Archery GB know and we can lapse the records, which should also stop the range from showing on Clubfinder. 

Register your range

Body: When registering a range, please choose whether or not you wish the range to show on the Archery GB Clubfinder. To show accurately on the Clubfinder, a recognised address and postcode must be selected from the drop-down menu provided online. You can also enter contact details online in the ‘locator preferences’ section under the Membership records of your organisation.

Range assembly technical guidance

There are specific guidelines for setting out your archery ranges, whether indoors, outdoors, or for field archery. These guidelines help you meet the range assessment requirements and have a range that meets the needs of your archery club.

Indoor archery shooting distances

The general consensus is that, in keeping with the competition distance as stipulated by Archery GB and World Archery, 18m is the appropriate length for a range. 

Shooting distances are not, however, fixed. Recreational archery ranges often have a shooting distance of 15m, while the broad view among experienced archers is that ‘further is better,’ leading to ranges with extended shooting distances of 25m or more.

Space around the range

In addition to the target distance there should be an allowance for three 3m to 5m spaces: 

  • Before the ‘shooting line’
  • For equipment, for waiting, and for shooters
  • Many buildings also necessitate a backstop net to the rear of targets, which also needs a space of 3m. 

This totals 30-36m when calculating for a target distance of 18m. This distance equates well to existing standard 33m x 18m four court sports halls and Sport England guidelines (2012) for 34.5m x 20.0m x 7.5m halls. 

For recreational ranges with a shooting distance of 15m, a three court hall (typically 27m x 18m) can meet Archery GB minimum guidelines.

Use of alternative buildings

Archery has the potential to bring into use spaces such as old mills, unused warehouses, barns etc. In fact many such premises will be much longer than 18m in one direction (allowing longer range indoor shooting) but could also (obviously at different times) be used on the short axis to create learning and/or commercial options with a higher number of targets.

Minimum club standards - Archery GB

The minimum AGB recommended indoor standards are a: 

  • Heated and well lit hall at least 23m long and 20m wide
  • Fully accessible, ideally heated, changing room or clubhouse which has access to toilets. 
  • Secure storage where archery equipment can be kept overnight. 
  • Notice board or signpost where the archery club can advertise its activities.

Outdoor archery ranges

Outdoor archery range

Operating standards contribute to the creation of a safe environment. They include minimum spatial standards, site orientation, backstop, overshoot area, grass length, public access, changing facilities and secure storage.

The range should ideally face due North, with a +/- 20° variance. In practical terms the orientation may have to suit the available space but this may preclude shooting at certain times of day depending on lighting conditions. 

Mechanical release aids can enable archers to shoot longer distances and require the length of the range to be increased by a further 36.50m 

The overshoot plus target area must be a minimum of 100.1m (110yds) with a target distance of up to 54.5m (60yds). 

For shooting distances of greater than 54.5m (60yds) the overshoot area should be an additional 50m (55.3yds) beyond the target line. 

Specific guidance about the facilities and related accommodation needed for high level competition is available from Archery GB and/or World Archery etc. (see AGB’s Rules of Shooting).

The minimum outdoor archery standards recommended by Archery GB

  • A grass sports field at least 113.75m long and 37.62m wide, where a backstop net is not used. Where a backstop net is used at least 40m and 20m wide
  • Grass that is flat not sloped, short, well kept and well drained The grass should be no longer than 5cm high
  • A field that does not allow access to the general public except at specific and defined points Access must not be allowed other than at specific defined points. Normally, sites with a public right of way should be avoided 
  • A fully accessible changing room, or club house which has toilets. This should be heated
  • A notice board or sign post where the archery club can advertise their activities 
  • A secure storage area where archery equipment can be kept overnight

Field archery ranges

Field archery course

To create a field archery course, course designers first produce a working plan of the course. 

Using a map of the area, plan where you are going to shoot and where you will place ancillary facilities and the entrance and exit routes for the site. Walk around the site looking for 7 potential good shooting points, marking them on the map along with dips, gullies, water features, banks and potential hazards. 

Using the initial course map, a preliminary clearance of obvious obstructions can be undertaken on the shooting lanes and safe paths. Then course designers walk the course and place pegs indicating the shooting positions and the target position. This will then allow clearance of the shooting lane for each target on the course, where necessary. This could involve removal of any overhanging branches or foliage. 

Next a boss or 3D target is positioned at each target peg, together with a number board at the access point for each target. 

After shooting, archers will walk to the target and retrieve their arrows. Then they will walk from the target to the next shooting peg. Therefore safe paths need to be marked out between targets. Signs are placed on the top of each boss indicating the safe path to the next target. The safe paths should not cross any shooting lane and therefore the laying out of each shooting lane is dictated by several considerations. 

Finally all necessary safety notices should be placed within, and on the boundary of, the entire shooting area. 

Course designers can then walk the course and check that it is clear, safe and conforms to Archery GB’s Rules of Shooting.

Clout archery ranges

Archers on a clout range

Clout archery has some similarities with target archery: it is practised in a flat field with something to aim at. 

In comparison with target archery: 

  • The target range is greater - up to about 200 yards 
  • The side safety and overshoot distance requirements can be up to 75 yards 
  • The target is a marked area of ground marked with a small flag

Flight archery ranges

Flight archery field

In flight archery the intention is simply to shoot an arrow as far as possible. This naturally requires a large controlled area, such as might be found in enclosed rural estates or inactive airfields. 

If specialist flight bows are to be used, the range must be over 1000 yards long.

For help with registering your range:

If you need further help, please contact the Archery GB membership team on membership@archerygb.org

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